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Thread: Call centre blues

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Call centre blues

    What is a reasonable time to be kept on hold waiting for someone to take your call?

    I tried calling the CIPC call centre yesterday, and after an hour of waiting for the call to be answered I gave up. It was just a small query – just making sure what seemed to be a glitch in their system wasn't going to bite me in the ass later.

    Oh well! I'll just have to take my chances. I really feel waiting for an hour in their queueing system is more than enough effort on my part to try to pre-empt a possible problem.

    If the problem lands, I'll deal with it then. But in the meantime, and despite all the assurances that my call is important to them, I'm less than impressed.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  2. Thank given for this post:

    gac (05-Jan-12), Vanash Naick (05-Jan-12)

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    Diamond Member Vanash Naick's Avatar
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    Whatever happened to customer service and the maxim, "the customer is king and is always right"
    I had a similiar experience with Autopage altech cellular. I waited for 50 minutes. The person that answered gave off the impression, "so what if you waited, least you got through now"
    City power is famous for not answering your calls especially when they know that ther is a problem.
    Multichoice call waiting has always been excellent1 I've never experienced a problem with them
    “The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways. The point, however, is to change it.” Karl Marx
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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I hate dealing with call centres. You do get some good ones, but mostly the staff are poorly trained and can not answer any technical questions.

    Poor service almost always boils down to bad management; training, motivation, goals, reward, all have a role to play.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Another hot topic.

    Discovery is one I have found to be particularly good and although perhaps not a true call centre, MTN's 1023 (Telephone Enquiries) has been outstanding. Seldom do I wait more than 3 rings for them to answer and their delivery time is instant!

    Cant comment about CIPC but find trying to get eThekwini Metro Elec & Water on the line is a frequently patience testing exercise. Vanash reports problems with City Power (presume JHBG). What is the response time in other cities.

    Echo Blurock about inability of CC Agents to provide satisfactory assistance, particularly in Municipal CC's.

    When I hear the recorded message "Your call is important to us" and/or "This call is recorded for quality purposes" I know I'm in for a long wait.

    Does any QC ever take place by reviewing calls or is this just a load of BS?
    Also wondering whether there is any industry guidelines that helps determine the number of CC Agents that should be on duty at any one time, what data is called upon etc. Often find myself responding to the "All our operators are busy, please be patient" message with "well perhaps you should have more than 2 on duty during peak hour" or "how many on duty are having coffee or are watching telly" or some other frustrated jibe. I truly dont know but have a concern that when it comes to national, provincial or local government there is no management of CC's and that they are very likely very totally under-staffed because there is no competition the caller can consider switching to.

    Anybody close to the industry out there that can provide further info.

  6. Thanks given for this post:

    Blurock (06-Jan-12)

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    I've just had to call the Telkom call centre for domestic telephone line fault reporting. I was pleasantly surprised - the call was answered within 15 seconds.

    A couple of minutes later and fault reported.
    Now just to see how long it takes for a technician to come.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

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    Moderator IanF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave A View Post
    I've just had to call the Telkom call centre for domestic telephone line fault reporting. I was pleasantly surprised - the call was answered within 15 seconds.

    A couple of minutes later and fault reported.
    Now just to see how long it takes for a technician to come.
    My theory is telkom, municpalities and other such state organisations take at least 3 days and several complaints for the fix to happen. I put this down to unions? telling members not to work too quickly to fix things and don't do it right first time so that they can keep employment up. So to fix a small fault takes a lot of follow up.
    I had ADSL down for 3 days last year and they fixed without even coming here. I now have 3G backup as it is easier than plugging in the cell phone as a modem.
    I wish this cynical view can be proved wrong.
    Only stress when you can change the outcome!

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    I have had excellent service from Telkom on ADSL or Internet related queries, but I have also had very poor service on normal telephone queries. Depends on the operator.

    One thing I do like about Telkom is that they give you a call back option if you wait too long due to "all their operators being busy". They would normally call back within less than an hour.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    An update on my Telkom call centre experience.

    With no sign of the fault having been attended to as yet, I decided to call the call centre yesterday to get an update on progress.

    Once again the call was answered in reasonable time - about a minute. Unfortunately that's about as complimentary as I can get, though.

    Sure, the operator was polite, well-spoken, attentive. However, the message wasn't particularly good news.
    Yes, he can see there is a problem and the fault has not been assigned to a technician yet.

    So I ask what the average turnaround time is - he tells me 1 to 6 days.
    Average turnaround time?

    So how can we get this moving?
    Oh - he'll escalate it, just hold on a moment.

    Your escalation reference number is blah-blah.
    Will that get it done quicker?
    It normally takes 1 to 6 days, sir.



    Goodness only knows what the escalation number is worth - nothing, I expect

    But it's progress, I guess. I used to wait much longer for the phone to be answered. Now they just need to improve that turnaround time at the physical service level.
    I'm really trying to see the glass half full here.
    The trouble with opportunity is it normally comes dressed up as work.

  11. #9
    Email problem Missnancyalex's Avatar
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    Every big business persons thinks that “there is no way to satisfy the customer” so they do not pay attention to customer care and it’s mostly apply on government services. Every government department takes more time than the average time of private sectors.

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    Diamond Member Blurock's Avatar
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    One of the problems in business today is that big organisations become faceless and heartless.

    Remember the days when Raymond (what was that his name?) was the face of Checkers? You could call him with any problem and he would have it sorted out. This helped a lot to improve the PR for Checkers. Richard Branson also gets involved in his various business enterprises.

    Today you are not able to speak to the man at the top. The agency factor applies; it is not my business, so why should I care? I've had a problem with Woolworths last year, but the staff did not even know the name of their CEO! So its easy for him to hide behind a call centre and not get blasted for the poor service, product or other stuff up that occurs in his stores.
    Excellence is not a skill; its an attitude...

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